History of Paarl

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates: 33.7342° S, 18.9621° E
Area: 64.61 km2
Municipality; Drakenstein

The area now known as Paarl was inhabited by the Khoekhoe, Khoikhoi, and Cochoqua people who were cattle herders. The early settlers traded meat with these indigenous tribes. While searching for trading opportunities Abraham Gabemma came across the large monolith now called Paarl Rock, glistening in the sunshine after rain. He called it De Diamond en De Peerlberg (Diamond and Pearl Mountain. Later the name was shortened to Pearl Rock or Pearl Mountain) The Khoi called it Tortoise mountain. In 1687 Simon Van Der Stell gave farms to “Free Burgers”. When the Huguenots arrived, many settled in this area. The fertile soil and the climate which was similar to that in the Mediterranean were ideal for planting fruit trees and grapevines.

The most significant conflict the settlers had with the indigenous people was with regard to property ownership. The Khoikhoi had no concept of this. Sadly many of the Khoikhoi people died from European diseases such as Smallpox.

The railway from Cape Town reached Paarl in the 1860s. The town had earned a reputation for industry and had a reputation as a place where the best wagons and carts were made.

The town has a 10 km long Main road lined with oak trees. Paarl is known also for excellent schools and colleges.

The license plate prefix for Paarl is CJ. The postcodes in Paarl are 7646 (Streets) and 7620 (Boxes)

Weather in Paarl today

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Things to do and see around Paarl

  • Miaspoort Trail (Italian cross)
  • Du Toits kloof pass
  • Taal monument
  • Taal monument pass
  • Paarl is the starting point for the Berg River canoe marathon
  • Fullmoon picnics Paarl: At the Taal monument on the evening of the full moon from November to April, picnics are very popular with local residents and tourists.17:00 and 22:00. Ph:021 863-0543 / 021 863-4809
  • At the foot of Paarl Mountain, beneath the Afrikaans Language Monument, is a monument to the struggle of the Cape Afrikaner who actively supported, or was sympathetic to, the Transvaal and Free State republics in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).
  • Take a guided walking tour Paarl Heritage Trail
  • Parkrun: Join us for a free, timed 5km run/walk at 08:00 every Saturday. Paarl Arboretum, entrance at Klein 083 226 7806

Useful Numbers of Paarl

  • Police: 021 807 4000
  • Traffic department: 021 807 6284
  • Fire: 021 872 2323
  • Water: 021 807 4715
  • Electricity: 021 807 4665
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 021 872 5791
  • Closest hospital; Paarl Provincial Hospital 021 860 2500
  • Library: Paarl public library 021 807 2215
  • Groot Drakenstein cultural centre: 021 874 1408
  • Paarl town hall Main Street (073) 065 1257/(021) 807 6436​
  • Huguenot Community Hall​   Jan Van Riebeeck and Abbatoir Street, Paarl (061) 518 5320
  • SPCA: 021 863 2720
  • Schools: Paarl girls high 021 872 1730

Paarl boys high 021 872 2875
La Rochelle Girls primary school 021 872 4371
Paarl Boys primary school 021 872 4651
Courtrai primary school 021 863 3220

  • Museum: 021 872 2651
  • Tourism 021 872 4842
  • Winelands Regional Tourism 023 348 2795

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